Thursday, April 17, 2008

We've moved...

We have 2 lovely new websites. You'll find Seldovia Arts Council press releases by clicking the 'Press' link at either of these websites:

For the Seldovia Arts Council:

For the Seldovia Summer Solstice Music Festival:

Friday, February 22, 2008

Bearfoot comes to Seldovia in March


March 29, 2008 7:30pm

And the Festival is coming…. See below!

Bearfoot originated in September of 1999 when 6 music camp counselors working in Cordova came together to form the band Bearfoot Bluegrass. The teenagers started traveling on donated mileage tickets, their parents booking gigs across Alaska and the Northwest. Their ‘big break’ came quickly when in 2001 they performed at the Telluride Bluegrass Festival and won the Best New Band competition, following in the footsteps of the Dixie Chicks and Nickel Creek.

Bearfoot is now a nationally touring band that has played the main stage at Telluride, festivals such as Wintergrass in Washington State, Rockygrass in Colorado, and yes, the Seldovia Summer Solstice Music Festival (2006). And they continue to teach kids at music camps across this country, Canada and Ireland. Two of the band members are certified elementary school teachers.

The band now numbers 5 and has grown in its abilities with a new name, Bearfoot, that reflects the expansion of their musical tastes and talents beyond bluegrass into the world of acoustic Americana. The change is evident in their most recent CD, Follow Me (2006). This recording features original songs (Annalisa Tornfelt wrote 8 of the 12 tracks) in a style that sounds fresh and new but still shows vintage Americana influences. Annalisa is joined by Angela Oudean (fiddle), Kate Hamre (acoustic bass), Jason Norris (mandolin) and Mike Mickelson (guitar). Only Time Knows, Bearfoot’s first CD, came out in 2001, and their second, Back Home, was produced by Grammy award winner Todd Phillips in 2003. As Todd commented, ‘they make bluegrass music new again, and are putting Alaska on the map as another bluegrass state’.

Bearfoot will do a workshop at 4pm. Everyone is welcome – come and learn some of their tricks. The workshop is free for kids K-12 and for adults who purchase a ticket to the evening concert. Workshop fee for all others is $5. Concert time is 7:30pm. Both events will be at the Susan B. English School, with tickets available at the door. Concert prices are $15/adult, $8/child, or $35/family.

And... The Seldovia Summer Solstice Music Festival is coming!

The Seldovia Summer Solstice Music Festival will be June 20 and 21. Look for a great time with musician and emcee Joe Craven. This guy can make music out of anything from a bedpan to a martini shaker. The stage set may look like your neighbor’s yard sale, but make no mistake, Joel is an accomplished musician and entertainer who played for almost 17 years with the David Grisman Quintet. James Cohen was a rock guitarist for 25 years, but in 1999 he was exposed to flamenco, and he has never looked back. He has become a master of this complex and subtle style.

Artists wanting to perform in the festival should submit their application by March 1. Email for information. We’re looking forward to another great festival!

Thanks to all of the volunteers in Seldovia, the Alaska State Council on the Arts, and WESTAF for helping us put on these great shows!

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Huun-Huur-Tu Comes to Seldovia in October

The Seldovia Arts Council welcomes
Throat Singers of Tuva


Tuesday October 30, 7:00 pm

Join us on a musical journey to Tuva to hear a group that practices the ancient technique of "xöömei" or throat-singing. Each vocalist simultaneously produces two distinct pitches: a lower drone and a high pitched flute-like sound. This is one of the world’s oldest forms of music making, and outside of the central Asian regions of Tuva, Mongolia and Tibet it is now practiced only by indigenous peoples in northern Canada and Russia, northern Japan and in South Africa.

Tuvans are a South Siberian Turkic people who live near the center of the Asian continent, just north of Mongolia. They were traditionally sheep and reindeer herders and used throat singing to imitate or represent sounds of nature… domestic animals, the physical environment of mountains and grasslands, and wind, water and light. They also make sonic "maps" of physical landscapes which may be expressed in texted songs, throat-singing, whistling, or other types of vocal production. Tuvan music is not abstract like most Western music, but representational.

Throat singing was traditionally performed by soloists, but in 1992 four Tuvans founded the quartet Kungurtuk, later renamed
Huun-Huur-Tu (meaning literally ‘sun propeller’, the rays of light often seen just after sunrise or just before sunset, representing the "refraction" of sound that produces articulated harmonics in Tuvan throat-singing). Their music also features instruments you have never heard or seen before… the igil (two-stringed fiddle), doshpuluur (two or three string banjo-like plucked instrument), khomus (mouth harp), dungur (large flat shaman drum or tambourine), and the chanzy (three string bowed instrument). But although the group is intent on preserving traditional Tuvan musical heritage, they also enjoy stretching themselves musically and have collaborated with the likes of Frank Zappa, the Chieftans, and the Kronos Quartet. Hunn-Huur-Tu has completed four North American tours and has played concerts and festivals in almost every country in Europe.

There is lots of information on Tuva and throat singing on the web. To get started, read the Seldovia Arts Council’s Director’s blog at Learn about Tuva and its music at Want to try your hand at throat singing? Check out The Huun-Huur-Tu website has links to the group performing at the 2006 Philadelphia Folk Festival on YouTube - click and listen!

Take a trip across the world, right here in Seldovia!!

Concert time is 7:00 pm, Tuesday October 30, 2007 at the Susan B. English School. Tickets will be available at the door. Prices are $15/adult, $8/child, or $35/family.

Call the Seldovia Arts Council for details… 234-7614
Or email:
More information at

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Doug Cox and Chris Proctor, plus Vladimir Zhikhartsev workshop... coming in September

Saturday, September 1

Seldovia is very lucky to have two musical masters together on stage this fall. Canadian songwriter, slide guitar and dobro player Doug Cox has been hailed by the Boston Globe as ‘one of the world’s most expressive dobro players.’ While Doug’s music is grounded in the traditions of the blues and bluegrass, he is always heading out into new musical directions. In his most recent CD, Slide to Freedom, he joins Indian mohan veena player Salil Bhatt to create a cross culture blend of ragas and Delta blues. Doug’s previous album, Hungry Ghosts, was a collaboration with blues guitarist Sam Hurrie that was nominated as 'Blues CD of the Year' by the Western Canadian Music Awards.

Doug has fronted many groups and worked as a sideman with Canadian bluesman Ken Hamm, American songwriter Chuck Brodsky, British blues icon Long John Baldry, and most recently, guitarist Amos Garrett. Doug teaches and has developed his own dobro instructional video and book series. His music has been featured on A&E, the Discovery Channel, CBC National Radio and NBC. A successful recording artist, Doug also plays festivals, clubs and concerts in venues as diverse as the Montreal Jazz Festival and New York’s Baseball Hall of Fame. And he performed right here in Seldovia last fall.

A dobro, by the way, is a guitar with a metal resonator set into the body, originally developed in the 1920s to create a sound that could stand up to the banjos, saxophones and trumpets that dominated popular music of the day. The dobro is held across the knees and played with a slide and fingerpicks. It’s a great sounding instrument … come hear it!

Appearing with Doug is Chris Proctor, one of the world’s elite fingerstyle composers, arrangers and performers. Chris has an innovative approach to the world of instruments steel-string fingerstyle guitar. Critics find it hard to describe Chris’s playing without launching into superlatives such as ‘breathtaking’ and ‘exquisite’. He’s often compared to Leo Kottke and Michael Hedges, and his intricate playing has earned him the label of ‘the only Baroque fingerpicker’. His compositions are original in every sense, spanning the spectrum of folk, jazz, pop, classical and ethnic music. "Haunting slide, spectacular writing, killer contrapuntal chops and sensitive articulation reconfirm that Proctor's in a league with the Peter Fingers and Martin Simpsons of the world." (Guitar Player). Chris has produced 10 CDs, plus books, DVDs and videos. He has played concerts and festivals all over the country. He lives in Salt Lake City with his wife, his dog, and many many guitars.

Vladimir Zhikhartsev Watercolor Workshop
September 21, 22, 23

Please register for this workshop by September 1 by calling 234-7614 or email

Spend three pleasurable days in Seldovia learning watercolor technique from a classic painter who specializes in European-Russian style watercolor. Vladimir Zhikhartsev will join us from Fairbanks, where he teaches watercolor and acrylic painting and drawing. Vladimir is an experienced teacher who uses clear instructions and daily demonstrations to help you master values, color, composition and other basic concepts in watercolor painting. This is also a great opportunity to develop your skills in designing and composing a painting. You’ll find lots of encouragement to help you gain a loose, confident style. This workshop is appropriate for the serious beginner to intermediate level student. There will be three days of instruction, September 21, 22, and 23, from 10 am to 4 pm with a break for lunch. There is a fee of $185.

Zhikartsev was born in Russia in 1960 and graduated from Pospolitaki Art College, in the Black Sea region. He lived in Provideniya for 11 years, before moving to Fairbanks where he specializes in watercolor, acrylic and oil painting. His work has won numerous awards in Russian exhibitions, and is on permanent display at the Museum of Provideniya. He has shown his art in galleries in Anchorage and Fairbanks and has won numerous juried watercolor shows. Vladimir is a member of the Fairbanks and Alaska Watercolor Societies.

Vladimir teaches painting in the summer, but his winters are devoted to ice sculpting. Since 1991 he has won 14 Gold Medals in the World Ice Art Championships. He has participated in Olympic Ice Arts Festivals in Salt Lake City and Turin Italy.

Call the Seldovia Arts Council for details… 234-7614
Box 41, Seldovia 99663
Or email:

Monday, July 30, 2007

BeauSoleil comes to Seldovia August 14!

The Seldovia Arts Council welcomes the
"best Cajun band in the world”
BeauSoleil avec Michael Doucet
all the way from Lafayette Louisiana… right here in Seldovia!
August 14, 2007, 8:00pm

BeauSoleil is one of the best known and most esteemed Cajun bands in the country. In fact, much of the popularity of Cajun music today can be attributed to this band and its founder, Michael Doucet. Michael grew up in Louisiana in the 1950s and 1960s, but it took a visit to France where traditional Cajun music was being played to spark an interest in his own region’s musical heritage. After returning home he was awarded a Folk Arts Apprenticeship by the National Endowment for the Arts, and he used the opportunity to seek out every surviving Cajun musician and study their techniques and performances. BeauSoleil rose out of that experience. Their music, sung in both English and French, blends traditional Louisiana Cajun tunes with elements of zydeco, New Orleans jazz, Tex-Mex, country, rock, calypso, blues and more.

BeauSoleil has recorded 28 albums, earning them a Grammy award for 1998’s The Spirit of Cajun Music, plus seven other Grammy nominations in both the ‘Best Traditional Folk’ and the ‘Contemporary Folk’ categories (quite a testament to their versatility). Their most recent album, Live in Louisiana won ‘Best Cajun Album’ from offBeat Magazine’s ‘Best of the Beat Awards’. They also won the ‘Big Easy Entertainment Award’ for Best Cajun Band in 2005, and in the same year Michael Doucet was awarded a National Heritage Fellowship by the National Endowment for the Arts, the country’s highest honor in the folk and traditional arts. You’ve probably heard BeauSoleil without even knowing it, on movie soundtracks such as The Big Easy and Passion Fish. They play at jazz and folk festivals across the country and have played on TV and the radio everywhere from Late Night with Conan O’Brien to the Prairie Home Companion.

BeauSoleil is… Michael Doucet (violin, guitar, accordion, mandolin, vocals) David Doucet (guitar, vocals), Jimmy Breaux (accordion), Billy Ware (percussion), Tommy Alesi (drums) and Mitch Reed (bass, fiddle, banjo, electric guitar). The band’s name pays tribute to Joseph Broussard, also known as BeauSoleil, a hero of the Acadian resistance who died in 1765 after leading 193 exiles to Louisiana.

August 14 2007, 8:00pm at the Susan B. English School. Tickets will be available at the door. Prices are $15/adult, $8/child, or $35/family.

Cajun music at its best… August 14… Seldovia…. Don’t miss it!
And… reserve these dates:

Saturday, September 1:
Doug Cox and Chris Proctor - Classic Guitar
Friday, Saturday and Sunday, September 21 - 23:
Vladimir Zhikhartsev watercolor workshop
Wednesday October 30:
Huun-Huur-Tu Tuvan Throat Singers

Call the Seldovia Arts Council for details… 234-7614

Sunday, June 03, 2007

Seldovia Summer Solstice Music Festival 2007

The Seldovia Summer Solstice Music Festival is coming up on June 22 and 23, 2007. Enjoy two evenings chock full of great music by artists from as far away as New Brunswick Canada and as close by as right here in Seldovia. All of this of year’s performers are top notch, and many are professional musicians. It’s a rare treat to hear this much talent in a venue that puts you so up close and personal!

‘Dynamic’, ‘captivating’, ‘intense’, ‘absolutely entertaining’ are all words used to describe Canadian Matt Andersen. Blues, roots, and rock sung in a soulful voice and delivered with larger-than-life showmanship have earned him a fervent grass roots following. Oregonian Lauren Sheehan has been playing guitar, singing and collecting piedmont, mountain and country dance tunes for nearly 35 years. With a clear lyrical voice, Lauren weaves music, stories and the history of her music. Her CDs include ‘Two Wings’, Independent Music Awards Album of the Year finalist.

Joel Tepp has played concerts and festivals all over the country, regularly adding his slide guitar, harmonica and clarinet to the music of Bonnie Raitt, Little Feat, Danny O'Keefe and a host of others. Joel comes to the festival as sideman to Lauren Sheehan. Antje Duvekot has a great voice, uplifting melodic lines and charming stage presence, but she is best known for her songwriting abilities. She has won innumerable awards, including 2006 Kerrville ‘Best New Folk’ songwriter. Bass and tuba player, singer songwriter Freebo’s music ranges from blues to reggae to rock n roll. Known for playing in Bonnie Raitt's band, he has also recorded and performed with Ringo Starr, Aaron Neville, Dr. John, Crosby Stills and Nash, Maria Muldaur and many more. Don’t miss Boston poet Tim Mason, world-folk artist Irina Rivkin, or our returning favorites the Terry Holder Band and Seldovia’s own Billy Goat. Alex Weed, Back Alley Banned, Seldovia Fiddlers, and the sultry Simone de Bibliotech round out the program. Then close the festival by dancing to the Irish bluegrass music of Muskeg Sally.

The Lineup:

Friday June 22
Simone de Bibliotech
Alex Weed
Lia Zito & David McCormick
Tim Mason
Antje Duvekot
Matt Andersen
Lauren Sheehan
Back Alley Banned
Irina Rivkin

Saturday June 23
Seldovia Fiddlers
Terry Holder Band
Antje Duvekot
Billy Goat
Lauren Sheehan
Matt Andersen
Muskeg Sally

And there will be some great workshops… Learn guitar from Matt Anderson and Lauren Sheehan, songwriting from Antje Duvekot, or fiddle from Lia Zito. Learn ‘playing well with others’ with Freebo or ‘making music with anything’ with Joel Tepp. Or learn about the music business with Tim Mason. There will be contra dancing and harmonica workshops, and workshops just for kids. Saturday workshops run from 1 to 4 pm.

Nuts and bolts: Festival performances begin at 7pm and run until 11pm, at the Susan B. English School in Seldovia. Tickets will be available at the door for $25 per performance and $10 for all workshops, or buy one ticket for the whole festival for $39. Prices for children (K-12) are $10 per performance, $5 for a workshop pass, or $20 for the whole festival. This unique festival offers the Alaskan coastal experience too – rugged mountain fjord scenery, coastal wildlife, great outdoor recreation, and a historic town. Hiking, kayaking, fishing or touring the historic boardwalk, there are plenty of activities for all. Come have some fun!

For Festival information:
Festival Chair Susan Mumma: (907)234-7614 or
For Seldovia information:

Seldovia Arts Council press release, June 2007

Sunday, May 06, 2007

Seldovia Arts Council ...Events for Summer 2007

The Seldovia Arts Council is delighted to announce its summer 2007 events, beginning with the Seldovia Summer Solstice Music Festival on June 22 and 23. Known for showcasing topnotch headliners in an intimate venue, this year’s festival brings an entire lineup of impressive artists from Alaska, Canada and across the lower 48. Blues, roots and rock guitarist Matt Andersen brings his soulful voice and larger-than-life onstage showmanship all the way from New Brunswick Canada. Matt has released three CDs, including "Solo at Sessions" which was multi-nominated for the East Coast Music Awards. He has headlined festivals, clubs and theater events throughout North America, and toured with artists such as America and Bo Diddley. Oregon blues artist Lauren Sheehan also headlines the show. Her music is drawn from an eclectic mix of old time banjo, country and modern folk tunes, simple ballads and Memphis blues. She is the consummate entertainer, weaving songs, stories, and intricate guitar work with an ease based on her time spent with many of America’s greatest folk and blues artists. ‘A formidable musician and singer’ (SingOut! Magazine). Lauren brings with her sideman Joel Tepp, wizard of slide guitar, harmonica and clarinet. Joel’s playing has been a regular addition to the music of many great artists including Bonnie Raitt and Little Feat. He has recorded with the likes of Jerry Garcia and Crazy Horse and can be heard in several major films and television shows.

We are also delighted to bring Boston singer/songwriter Antje Duvekot to the Festival. Antje’s many achievements include winning the Best New Folk competition at Kerrville as well as taking 1st and 2nd place in the prestigious John Lennon songwriting contest. Alex Weed, currently a guitar performance major at the Berklee College of Music in Boston, blends soul, roots and R&B style with a raspy, soulful voice and accomplished fingerstyle technique that belies his 21 years. Award winning songwriter Caren Armstrong mixes sophisticated guitar chops and soaring vocals, creating her own personal blend of folk, country, blues, jazz, traditional and popular music. Freebo has spent 10 years playing bass in Bonnie Raitt’s band, and joined artists such as Maria Muldaur and Ringo Starr in countless studio sessions and tours. He has appeared on television shows including Saturday Night Live, played tuba with Dr. John and Spinal Tap, and has put out three solo albums. Poet Tim Mason returns to the festival, as does the Terry Holder Band, Tom Begich, and Lia Zito and David McCormick. You’ll hear Seldovia’s own bluegrass band Billy Goat, great Irish music by Back Alley Banned, and have a chance to get up and dance to the music of Irish bluegrass band Muskeg Sally. You’ll love the Seldovia Fiddlers, and if you missed Simone de Bibliotech last year you should not miss the performance of this sultry, exotic and rarely seen Seldovian.

Festival performances are Friday and Saturday nights starting at 7pm and Saturday workshops begin at 1pm. Workshops are a great way to have a lot of fun learning a new skill or honing an old one. Harmonica, blues guitar or contra dance, songwriting, bluegrass instrumental or harmony singing, folk guitar, fingerpicking, piano or Irish fiddle – there’s something for everyone. There are workshops just for kids too. Performances and workshops will be held at Susan B. English School, where you can buy your tickets at the door. Ticket prices for the festival are to be announced.

Later in the summer we look forward to some wonderful music when an old friend returns to Seldovia with a new band, the Dan McElrath Jazz Band (July 8). On August 14 BeauSoleil brings us their Grammy winning Cajun music from Lafayette Louisiana. Master songwriter, slide guitar and dobro player Doug Cox returns to Seldovia September 1, bringing with him Chris Proctor. Chris is known for such intricate, challenging compositions and precise technique on acoustic guitar that the LA Times called him “the only Baroque fingerpicker”. Also this summer we look forward to a watercolor workshop with Fairbanks artist Vladimir Zhikartsev. Check the Seldovia Arts Council website for updates on these and other summer events. Performances are in the Susan B English School, and tickets for these non-Festival performances can be bought at the door for $15 adult, $8 child.

Join us in Seldovia for some of these wonderful events. Where else can you enjoy all this great music and art in such a beautiful place?